Oh, how I wish every major category at the Oscars gradually whittled down which movies were eligible for an Academy Award. Documentaries, animated efforts and foreign-language films annually submit a large pool of candidates, only to have the Academy trim them down as we head to the nomination date. And we’ve just learned that nine foreign-language features have been told that they will vie for the five available slots on the Oscar nomination list.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, those nine films are:
Amour, Michael Haneke, director
War Witch, Kim Nguyen, director
No, Pablo Larraín, director
A Royal Affair, Nikolaj Arcel, director
The Intouchables, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors
The Deep, Baltasar Kormákur, director
Kon-Tiki, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors
Beyond the Hills, Cristian Mungiu, director
Sister, Ursula Meier, director

That’s a solid group, and a tough category to narrow down to five. If I had to guess, I’d say that Haneke’s Amour would be most likely to win that category, seeing as how it has generated some conversation to even getting into the Best Picture race – and not just the Best Foreign-Language Film category. Now watch, Amour won;’t even get nominated. Isn’t that how it always works?

The trade says that 71 countries submitted film for consideration this year, leading to thee nine movies being singled out in the category. And now, we’ll wait for the Oscar nominations to be announced on Jan. 10, to see who makes the cut. Finally, we’ll tune in to the 85th Academy Awards on Feb. 24 to see which films go home with an Oscar trophy. How many of the nine foreign-language films have you seen? And do you have a favorite from the group?

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